“What if you recalled memories from a life that wasn’t yours, from a life before …?
When Becky steps into Jonathon Nelson’s atmospheric photography studio in Whitby, she is simply a freelance journalist in search of a story. But as soon as she puts on the beautiful Victorian dress and poses for a photograph, she becomes somebody quite different …
From that moment on, Becky is overcome with visions and flashbacks from a life that isn’t her own – some disturbing and filled with fear.
As she and Jon begin to unravel the tragic mystery behind her strange experiences, the natural affinity they have for each other continues to grow and leads them to question … have they met somewhere before? Perhaps not just in this life but in another? ”
Some veil did fall is a wonderful time-slip novel, that is impossible to put down. It is a dual era novel, that blends the Victorian with modern times. Becky, tries on a dress that starts her reincarnation adventure. Helped by her friend Lissy and Jon, they unravel the mystery, with the clues Ella left behind in a writing slope.
At its heart, there is a tender romance between Becky and Jon, although they have known each other since childhood, it isn’t until Becky experiences Ella- that she begins to see Jon in a new light.
Often witty, heart warming and bittersweet, Some veil did fall is a powerfully emotive drama, that is vivid and beautifully written.
I loved the Victorian and pre Raphaelite brotherhood elements and I have very high expectations for the rest of the series.
Perfect for Barbara Erskine fans or any one who enjoys a delightful, insightive novel that will melt your heart. Just brilliant!
“A legendary dagger in the hands of a vampire slayer… A nineteenth century girl with nowhere left to turn… A modern-day field trip to Lindisfarne… When worlds collide and the only way out is a choice nobody should have to make, where do you find your refuge? Set within the sanctity of the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, off the Northumbrian coast, Refuge is a story interlinking modern day with a dark and terrifying past – and the story of the immortals who carry their hatred with them throughout the centuries.”
This is a multilayered book that spans many timelines. Normally that is very difficult to pull off but not only did Kirsty Ferry pull it off, she left you saying “Ahaa” at the end. This book was so well written, it was almost sculpted. From the start you can feel the gothic atmosphere and it immediately made me think of Stoker.
This really isn’t your predictable Vampire story- anything can happen and it often does, when you least expect it. Kirsty Ferry put a fresh spin on a tired genre by making her characters homicidal – verging on psychotic but yet, devilishly seductive. The relationship between Cassandra and Veva is a very complex and bizarre relationship; it reminded me of Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn in “Death becomes her”.
Refuge is steeped in historical details and it is a thrilling ensemble book who characters all come together for different reasons on a vampirical pilgrimage. These day walking vampires, have centuries of intertwining pasts together but it isn’t until they reach the Refuge, that it all comes to a climactic end.
I loved this book because it was fresh and interesting. I found the characters compelling and exciting. I highly recommend.
I was lucky enough to catch up with the author for some questions and answers:
EPBR: What inspired you to write Refuge?
KF: It started from a romantic pocket novel I tried to write which was terrible – I ended up hating the characters and said jokingly to my cousin at my birthday party, ‘I hate them so much I just want to kill them off . In fact, I might just turn them into vampires or something to get rid of them.’ So she said ‘Do it!’ And I thought, ‘Hmmmm, yep, that would work.’ I wanted to write a story about a local place as well, having used Hadrian’s Wall in my previous novel, and thought I could centre the story on Holy Island – the last place you would expect to find a creature of the night. It all just fell into place from there. And I actually love my characters now. They are far more suited to the dark side of love!
EPBR: Do you have any other vampire plans for more books?
KF: I left Refuge open-ended. There is potential there for another story – I have a couple of characters who I kind of left hanging there subtly to bring them back from the undead again – but I haven’t thought about a plot yet. Maybe one day…
EPBR: Who is your favourite Vampire?
KF: Angel from Buffy- just has to be!
EPBR: What is your favourite book/ and or vampire film?
KF: Oh it has to be bookwise – Berni Steven’s Dance Until Dawn and filmwise, Johnny Depp’s Dark Shadows.
*Tommorow I will be reviewing Berni Steven’s Dance Until Dawn
Also by Kirsty Ferry:
“Three eras. Three young women. Three Guardians, separated by centuries. Aemelia: the Christian daughter of a Roman Commandant. Meggie: accused of witchcraft in the seventeenth century. Liv: a twenty-first century teenager, intent on finding information for a project. When horrors from the past threaten her, Liv discovers she is a Guardian of the mystical Coventina’s Well. She must work with the spirits who linger there, and use their combined power to banish evil from the sacred spring. Set amongst the wild landscape of Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland, the Guardians must confront the tragic past and the potential future in order to help each other survive.”
venge of the modern vampire-
A strange metamorphosis has occurred to the vampire over that past 30 years. Vampires went from the mediaeval scourge of the darkness to vegetarian emos. That is a huge gap after all those centuries. So what happened?
Vampire have always been depicted as the spawn of Satan throughout history. From Vlad Tepes to Elisabeth Bathory- Vampires have always been evil predators that would kill you in seconds. I think it all started with Lord Byron’s Vampyre. He was the first to romanticized the vampire. Then came Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Still a bad boy, but he used seduction rather than brute violence to get his pray. However, when the first motion picture of Nosferatu hit the cinema in 1922, he was played by a rodent faced Max Shrek that in no way could be considered sexy.
It would take another twenty years before Bella Lugosi. Bella did make his Dracula a bit more sexier, but the character was still the evil villain. Twenty more years later we have the Hammer years with Christopher Lee reinventing the genre for a whole new audience.. Twice as sexy as Bella Lugosi but also twice as evil, not entirely at the modern vampire yet.
For another twenty years, vampires continued to be evil blood sucking bastards, but then “Interview with a vampire” hit our screens. The book had a cult following since it’s release in 1976 but it was not until Tom Cruise was mentioned that people took notice. Anne Rice’s vampires had humanity, albeit, possibly a soul. The talked openly about regrettable mistakes and loss. Although widely remarked as being homo-erotic, here were vampires you could relate to.
The the flood gates opened- Vampire were cool and hip for the first time in history. “Buffy the Vampire” even made them quite lovable. Angel struggles with his vampire identity while trying to maintain relationships and his soul. For the first in history we have a non threatening male vampire would you would want to be friends with.
Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse novels and the subsequent television show brought us deeper into the political of vampirical hierarchy and further de-mystified them. Then it happened- Twilight. If you listen closely, that sound you hear, is Vlad Tepes turning in his grave. With twilight we have the first emasculated vampire who would rather listen to emo music in a darkened room than feed off the villagers.
Yet again Vampires are repulsive- not because they have rat faces and feed of you like a parasite; but because they are angst ridden, emotional crippled teens. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the Twilight books, but they did nothing for Vampires Street Cred.
Maybe it is human nature to parody that which scares us, or we just reached a point where there is nothing more that can be added to Vampire mythology. Either way- the only vegetarian vampire that I will take seriously is Count Duckula and twilight sparkles should be left to My little pony. I am hoping that Guillermo Del Toro’s The Strain Television series bring some gravitas to genre and some much-needed Vampire P.R. Luckily the Queen of Vampires, Anne Rice is here to save the day by releasing a new Lestat book called “Prince Lestat” It could not come at a better time to kick-start the vampire genre again.
This week I am very lucky that I am reviewing Four new vampire books this week. Each with its own unique spin on the genre. Vampires will always be with it, as they have been for centuries- but with the help of authors like Kirsty Ferry, Dan Ribot, Berni Stevens, Jane Lovering and Sarah Tranter; Vampires can be exciting again.
I also caught up with the lovely Katie Oliver, Author of the “Dating Mr. Darcy Series” for some vampire Q&A:
EPBR:Would you ever write a vampire novel?
KO:I would! I love a good vampire yarn (Anne Rice’s “Vampire Chronicles,” and Matt Haig’s The Radleys, about a vampire family trying to ‘pass’ as normal, are genius). But with so many great books already out there, the challenge is to write within genre conventions and still deliver a story with a twist. It’d be a LOT of fun to try, though..
Perhaps I could pen a vampire chick lit novel, with a female vamp who spends eternity shopping for shoes, and the perfect shade of… BLOOD? MWAH ha ha…
EPBR:What is your favourite vampire book and or film?
Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice is evocative, scary, moody, and unforgettable. I fell in love with the nineteenth-century New Orleans setting – the moss-draped oaks, the antebellum mansions, the French Quarter, and the dark, mournful beauty of the bayou. Sting read the book and liked it so much he wrote a song about it – “Moon Over Bourbon Street.”
EPBR: Who is your favourite vampire?
KO: As far as movie vampires go, Frank Langella was the first actor to bring sensuality to the role of Dracula, giving the famous fiend a sexy new dimension. For laughs, you can’t beat George Hamilton in “Love at First Bite” or the campy Jonathan Frid as Barnabas Collins in “Dark Shadows.” But my favorite literary vampire is Bram Stoker’s Dracula. As a suave gentleman of means by day and a ruthless bloodsucker by night, Count Dracula is diabolical and unparalleled in fiction. But my favorite vampire of all? It’s got to be Sesame Street’s The Count, of course! One! One vampire bat! Two! Two vampire.
Here are some other great books for you to enjoy:
The Radleys by Matt Haig
“Move over, Cullens! The Radleys are an average family living in the suburbs – they just happen to be vampires. As funny as it is scary!” (Bliss) “A refreshing alternative to much of the paranormal fodder out there.” (The Bookseller) “We should expect something different from the fare provided by Stephenie Meyer and her numerous imitators. And we will not be disappointed.” (The Irish Times) “Pointed, clever and witty.” (The Independent)”
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
‘Intelligent and off-the-wall, it will be irresistible to Twilight fans’ — The
Sunday Times ‘A bubbling cauldron of illicit desire…all the ingredients for an
assured saga that blends romance with fantasy’ — Daily Mail ‘An inventive
addition to the supernatural craze… Historian Harkness’s racy paranormal
romance has exciting amounts of spells, kisses and battles, and is recounted
with enchanting, page-turning panache’ — Marie Claire ‘A romp through magical
academia’ — Guardian ‘…a grand romance smartly dressed up in the fashion for
the occult…Sauced up with magic as well as being intelligent, the novel will
be irresistible to Twilight fans’ — The Sunday Times
Prince Lestat by Anne Rice
To Be released October 30, 2014
The Vampire world is in crisis — vampires have been proliferating out of control and burnings, huge massacres, have commenced all over the world. Old vampires, roused from their earth-bound slumber, are doing the bidding of The Voice: which commands that they indiscriminately burn vampire-mavericks in cities from Paris to Mumbai, Hong Kong to Kyoto and San Francisco.
We are back with the worlds and beings of Anne Rice’s legendary Vampire Chronicles — in present-day New York and Ancient Egypt, 4th-century Carthage, 14th- century Rome, Renaissance Venice; with Louis de Pointe du Lac; Armand the eternally young, whose face is that of a Boticelli angel; Mekare and Maharet; Pandora and Flavius; David Talbot, vampire and ultimate fixer from the Secret Talamasca; and Marius, the true child of the Millennia. These come together with a host of new, seductive supernatural creatures in this large, luxuriant, fiercely ambitious novel, to seek out who — or what — The Voice is, and to discover the secret of what it desires and why.
And, at the book’s centre, is always and forever the seemingly absent, curiously missing hero-wanderer, the dazzling, dangerous rebel-outlaw — the great ‘hope’ of the Undead, the dazzling Prince Lestat…
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your results, as we love hearing from you!
The portal to an alternate world was the start of all her troubles – or was it?
When Eve Carpenter lands with a splash in the Thames, it’s not the London or England she’s used to. No one has a telephone or knows what a computer is. England s a third world country and Princess Di is still alive. But worst of all, everyone thinks Eve’s a spy. Including Major Harker who has his own problems. His sworn enemy is looking for a promotion. The general wants him to undertake some ridiculous mission to find a computer, which Harker vaguely envisions running wild somewhere in Yorkshire. Turns out the best person to help him is Eve. She claims to be a pop star. Harker doesn’t know what a popstar is, although he suspects it’s a fancy foreign word for spy . Eve knows all about computers, and electricity. Eve is dangerous. There’s every possibility she’s mad. And Harker is falling in love with her.
I am a huge fan of time travel and dystopian fiction. This one of a kind novel combined both genres into a very exciting story. Kate Johnson has rivaled Harry Turtledove -Alternative history legend.
When Eve first arrives in an alternative London, she thinks she is on an episode of MTV’s “Punked”. The local army militia thinks she is a spy and quickly put her under arrest. That is when she meet Harker, the officer in command.
Harker does spend most of the early part of the book saying “The what?” regardless of that, Harker is sexy enough to make you swoon.
The UnTied Kingdom is an adventure you won’t forget in a hurry. It is teaming with wit and sass but does not shy away from the horrors of a homeland invasion. I can recommend this to anyone who is looking for something a bit different, you won’t be disappointed. I am definitely putting this on my list of books to read again.
Kate Johnson recently published a fantasy novel last month. I will be reviewing it shortly because I can not wait to read this book. See for yourself:
Are they Cursed as well as Chosen?
Ishtaer is a mystery. A blind slave, beaten and broken by her sadistic mistress, with no memory of a time before her enslavement.
Kael Vapensigsson is one of the elite Chosen – a Warlord whose strength comes from the gods themselves. But despite all his power and prestige, he is plagued by a prophecy that threatens to destroy everything he loves. When Kael summons Ishtaer to his room and discovers the marks of the Chosen on her body, including the revered mark of the Warrior, both Warlord and slave seem to have met their match.
But as their lives become increasingly entangled and endangered, Ishtaer is forced to test whether the Chosen ever have the ability to choose their own fate.
How to be a time traveller:
There are many debates on how to time travel- if it is even possible. Since we live in a time where a flux capacitor doesn’t really exist, we have to make do with other methods. My favourite is the “Christopher Reeve method”. This method was used in the film “Somewhere in time”. Unlike the film- with this method you can not psychically go there – but rather in spirit.
Mediate and clear your mind. First, you need to go to your happy place. Ideally your happy place should look like the Star Trek holo-deck on the Enterprise before the program loads. For non-geeks, a plain room with no window and uniform in colour.
In the room there is a chair. It could be a recliner or a captain’s chair, as long as there is a place for a control panel. An alternative is Rod Taylor’s ultra-steampunk “Time Machine” from the film of the same name. Which ever you prefer, the controls have to be programmable to a specific dates and times.
Now you have your comfy chair all set and you are relaxed; imagine a movie screen coming down in front of you. On that screen is the scene of where you would like to visit. Concentrate on your scene. This will take a lot of practice before you get it right. Remember, even if you do get it right you will only be able to “remote view”.
“Remote Viewing” is the ability to penetrate the illusion of time and it allows you to experience time as a single simultaneous event. The consequences of a non-linear time, enables you to visit the past, present and future. If you get confused, just think of Doctor Who and the Tardis.
There are dangers to this method. Once you are in this vulnerable state, you are open to psychic attacks. These attacks can come from other time travellers when you invade their territory. When you have stopped laughing Experts claim that the most effective tool in psychic attacks is the “Mirror technique”. That is when you hold up a mirror to your attacker and it reflects the bad ju-ju back to the gorgon (or attacker). Sorry, it all went very Clash of Titans on me for a moment.
If that wasn’t bizarre enough for you, it will get weirder- I promise. It was rumoured that after Nikola Tesla’s death in 1943, they found time travel devices in his apartment. From how they describe how it works- it does sound like a device that creates a vortex like worm hole.
That discovery lead to Project Pegasus, a secret government program. It is slightly similar to the film “The Philadelphia experiment”. The difference being, rather than using Military personnel for the experiments, they used children. They claimed that children has an amazing ability to adapt to the rigours of moving back and forth in time.
Despite of all of this, the only definitive proof we have, is a few pictures of a Nicolas Cage’s Civil war look a like and letters found in a coffee shop. The letters are from a time traveller named Dave stuck in the year 2013.
You have to read the whole saga, it is quite funny and reminds me of those letters you would find in the classroom desks in High school. Usually those letters were messages or written conversations that random people answered on paper and shoved back in the desk- like a pre-internet chat room.
The internet is full of stories about time travellers. My favourite one is about Hakan Nordkvist, a man who discovered a time vortex under his sink. One day he went under his sink to fix a leak and was sucked into a time vortex. When he crawled out on the other side, he met his future self. What did he do with all this new information? He took a picture of himself with himself and posted it on Youtube.
I’m still not convinced. We live in a time when we don’t have flux capacitors yet, but we do have photo-shop and the internet. It could be these pictures are of people who travelled from the future with new technology or they could be clever hoaxes. The charm and appeal of them is that we just don’t know for sure.
Whether you believe or not is subjective. If it was possible, clearly we would be the last to know about it. The last thing governments want is time tourists clogging up the system. Other conspiracy theories include governments trying to solve over population by planning a “Terra Nova” like plot and shipping surplus citizens to a prehistoric time line.
For the time being- the likes of you and me are stuck using the Christopher Reeves method of time travel. I’m all for giving it a try. After all what is the worst that could happen? It could work, or if not, you could just fall asleep and have a really weird dream. If you are lucky enough to have it work, here are some tips:
1) Go forward first- The past is loud, smelly and dirty.
2) Don’t get killed or captured- Just remember what happened to Bruce Willis in “12 Monkeys”
3) Watch those pesky modern pennies- they will get you every time.
Earlier in the week I caught up with novelist Kirsty Ferry. She has a time-slip novel coming out in October- which I am very excited about. I got to ask her a few theme based questions:
If I could go back in time I’d probably like the late Victorian or Edwardian era, purely for the dresses! I’ve always loved the fashions of that time, especially the ball gowns so I would have to be part of a wealthy family that lived in a big house and had fabulous parties I think. Lots of fabulous parties, so i could wear lots of fabulous dresses!
It’s difficult to think of a historical event I would like to witness. I love history and the more research I do for my novels the more things I come across that i would like to see. There are a few I can think of at minute. I’d like to see exactly why all the roman altars were destroyed and thrown into Coventina’s Well on Hadrians Wall, an event I have fictionalised in Memory of Snow. I’d also like to be around when Emily Bronte was, so i could meet her and find out what inspired her to write Wuthering Heights and what she really thought of Heathcliff and Cathy. I’d Iike to meet the Pre Raphaelite brotherhood and then I’d also like to go to Cornwall and meet Laura Knight and the Newlyn Artists. So I suppose I’d better invent a time machine to do all these things and more!
I haven’t read outlander, but I’m a big fan of Mary Stewart and Barbara Erskine who write wonderful paranormal mystery timeslip romances. A fantastic combination of genres in my opinion, rolled into one book. If the Outlander series is anything like those, I’m sure I would love it. I’ll have to put it on my wish list I think.
The memory of snow:
Three eras. Three young women. Three Guardians, separated by centuries. Aemelia: the Christian daughter of a Roman Commandant. Meggie: accused of witchcraft in the seventeenth century. Liv: a twenty-first century teenager, intent on finding information for a project. When horrors from the past threaten her, Liv discovers she is a Guardian of the mystical Coventina’s Well. She must work with the spirits who linger there, and use their combined power to banish evil from the sacred spring. Set amongst the wild landscape of Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland, the Guardians must confront the tragic past and the potential future in order to help each other survive.
On a side note: Upon hearing that Kirsty Ferry has not read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, I quickly gifted her a copy lol.
If you enjoyed the alternative London in Kate Johnson’s “The UnTied Kingdom” then perhaps you will enjoy Ben Moor’s Undone Radio program and Neverwhere:
Ben Moor’s comic sci-fi saga with Sarah Solemani and Dan Antopolski follows Edna Turner’s adventures in London’s bizarre parallel city.
In this first series, she finds a new job and visits the theatre (or should that be ‘untheatre’?) Meanwhile, genuinely faceless bureaucrats threaten to run London, as Edna’s mum arrives, and London gets stranger and stranger for Edna, Tankerton, and both the Carlos.
The stunningly original and brilliant first novel from storytelling genius Neil Gaiman. Now a six part radio dramatisation on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 4 Extra.
Under the streets of London there’s a world most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, and pale girls in black velvet. Richard Mayhew is a young businessman who is about to find out more than he bargained for about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his safe and predictable life and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and yet utterly bizarre. There’s a girl named Door, an Angel called Islington, an Earl who holds Court on the carriage of a Tube train, a Beast in a labyrinth, and dangers and delights beyond imagining… And Richard, who only wants to go home, is to find a strange destiny waiting for him below the streets of his native city.
Another great alternative history/ parallel world series is Charles Stross’s The Merchant Princes Series:
Miriam Beckstein, a successful reporter for a hi-tech magazine in Boston, finds iron-clad evidence of a money-laundering scheme. But when she takes it to her editor, she’s fired on the spot and gets a death threat from the criminals she has uncovered.
Before the day is over, she’s received a locket left by the mother she never knew – the mother who was murdered when she was an infant. Within is a knot work pattern, which has a hypnotic effect on her. Before she knows it, she’s transported herself to a parallel Earth, a world where knights on horseback chase their prey with automatic weapons, and where world-skipping assassins lurk just on the other side of reality – a world where her true family runs things